The e-Reader has been a success story, there's not much doubt about that. But with only various shades of gray offered by e-Ink, most manufacturers are now diving into color LCD devices (with the notable exception of Amazon). Now China's Shenzhen Guangxuntong Communication Technology has announced a paper-like color display on its new S700 e-notepad, although exactly what technology is used to achieve this has not been revealed. Here's what we do know...
The e-king S700 e-notepad is helpfully described by the company as an "electron memorandum, abbreviated as electron book." It sports a 7-inch resistive touchscreen display with electromagnetic induction. A company press release from September mentions TFT, which suggests LCD, but some reports have said that the device uses some form of e-paper technology. It is intended primarily as a hand-held, wireless office device that allows users to create documents, make notes, send and receive email, surf the web and so on. The wireless part comes courtesy of both 3G and Wi-Fi, and there's GPS navigation thrown in, too.
The S700 is said to boot up in just one second and offers users peace of mind with an included fingerprint reader backed up by "a military-grade safety and privacy system." Notes are taken and documents created using the company's own handwriting recognition software, which is said to have taken over two years to develop and differs from other available solutions in that the user's scribbling are stored in the original scrawl, and not converted into system fonts.
The device can of course be used to read e-Books, newspapers and magazines, and is said to render the digital content "with the same effect as paper." The S700 also plays video and audio, although specifics are absent, and includes a 3-megapixel autofocus camera that can be used to scan name cards and identify users, as well as for videoconferencing or snapping photos.
There's been no mention of storage, operating system, battery life or processing power, however. As to whether jumping into the newly-created e-notepad product category will give users any significant benefit over the existing tablet or color e-Reader markets, there's only a short wait to find out.
The e-king S700 e-notepad is expected to be released in November. At the time of writing there is no official word on price, although it has been listed online with a recommended retail of CNY4799 (about US$719).